Why reviews need honesty

Reviews exist for a reason. You read them to find out opinions about products, and, as such, you want people to be honest about the stuff that they are writing about. Reading David Pogue’s review for the New York Times of the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 made me angry as, like Buzzfeed’s Matt Buchanan pointed out all too well, the author is trying too hard to be nice. Being nice about something will make it seem good. If it is not good, don’t try and fool the reader with your feigned attempt at praise.

The Player 4.2 is beautiful. Its plastic shell, with comfortably rounded edges, can’t hold a candle to the mirror-finish metal back of the Touch, but of course it doesn’t hold fingerprints, either.

You’ll probably need to buy a memory card, in fact, since the Player comes with only about four gigabytes of free memory for your files. But the point is: the capacity of your Player is up to you. Choice is good, right?

In the end, the Player should hold special appeal for a significant customer niche: rebels. The technologically sophisticated. People who would enjoy the freedom of removable cards and batteries. Parents who might like that peculiar business about making phone calls through a cheaper phone. People who own recent Samsung televisions (the Player doubles as a remote control). Anyone with a dominant anti-Apple gene.

Otherwise, it’s not entirely clear who would benefit by this slightly thicker, slightly heavier, slightly less refined iPod Touch. Until that question is answered, it’s hard to imagine Samsung’s latest becoming a significant Player in the Galaxy.

Once again, as much as it pains me to say it, I find myself in agreement with Mr. Massive Greatness himself, MG Siegler.

I don’t know about you, but when I read my favorite technology writers, I want an opinion. Is the iPhone 4S the best smartphone, or is it the Galaxy Nexus? I need to buy one, I can’t buy both. [Josh] Topolsky never gives us that. Instead, he pussyfoots around it. One is great at some things, the other is great at others. Barf.

Fucking pick one. I bet that even now he won’t.

This is the problem I have with most technology reviews these days. Everyone seems so afraid to say how they really feel about the device. And more often than not, that’s exactly what readers want.

Reviews need opinion, not horseshit. If something is good, the review should make that clear. If something is crap, the review should make that clear. That’s why I respect Josh Topolsky. He reviewed the Nokia Lumia 900 and people went mad when he gave it a 7.0. He was totally wrong on a few things, but at least he was honest. And that’s what we strive for at Digixav. As Paloma Faith once sang, do you want the truth or something beautiful? I know what I’d rather have.

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Nokia & AT&T unveil their Lumia 900 ad campaign

Nokia‘s Lumia 900 launches this weekend, with both Nokia and AT&T promising their largest ever ad campaign – even bigger than that for the first iPhone. The Smartphone Beta Test ads, starring Chris Parnell of Saturday Night Live fame, state how every smartphone in the last 5 years has been part of an elaborate beta test.

Do you think the campaign will work? Watch the ads and vote in our poll below.

Update: Here is another ad for the phone, but not with Chris Parnell or reference to the Smartphone Beta Test. This one is pure AT&T.

On The Nokia Lumia 900 And How AT&T Is The Phone’s Only Downside

The long-awaited Nokia Lumia 900 launches this weekend on AT&T in the USA, but we are still awaiting a release date for European markets. When it comes, our own Windows Phone fanboy Henry Hunt will get one straight away, and, with the help of my 710 and forthcoming 800 reviews, we can help you find if a Nokia Windows Phone is right for you.

Nokia Lumia 900 to launch in the UK in June at Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse, the largest mobile retailer in Europe, have announced on their website that they will be stocking the new Nokia Lumia 900 in the UK from June this year. This is great news for people like me who absolutely love the Lumia 800’s design but need a larger screen. On the ‘Coming Soon’ page of the site, the phone appears alongside the 710, the magenta variant of the 800, the Sony Xperia S, a couple of BlackBerries and the Prada Phone by LG 3.0. A dedicated landing page provides you with the specs and at the very bottom of the page it says expected in June 2012, however this date is subject to change. Carriers have not yet been announced, but 3 are not expecting the device which should be available unlocked from Carphone Warehouse stores.

The Nokia Windows Phones are, according to CEO Stephen Elop, the first real Windows Phones. They look and feel great, have amazing software and the polycarbonate design is one of the best out there. Now that finally there is a Lumia with a larger screen, I cannot wait to get my hands on it, hopefully with HSPA+ support. Look out for me on launch day!

The Poll: What is your favourite thing from CES?

It’s been great, but what is your favourite new thing?

Motorola (re)build on the RAZR line with MAXX, Droid 4 and purpleness

Sorry for the lack of posts but the start of a term doesn’t mix well with CES for a teenage blogger. We will get through the big stuff this week but it may take time!

At CES, Motorola announced 3 new devices based on the RAZR, a phone that is officially as old as Digixav. While it seems unlikely that they will ever hit the UK as none are featured on the Motorola website, it gives us an excuse to look at the phone that narrowly lost out on our Best Design Award. Despite it’s godawful screen that somehow manages to look bad in adverts.

On the left, we have the RAZR MAXX. As the name suggests, this is a RAZR that is fatter and equipped with a bigger and better battery of 3300mAh. This gives you (supposedly) 21 hours of talk-time and 6 hours of LTE video streaming. It is 8.99mm thick and is otherwise a bog-standard RAZR. This is coming soon for $299 with a 2 year plan.

In the middle, we have the purple RAZR. It is a RAZR. It’s purple. Along with the cut-price white and black models, this will be $199 on contract.

On the right, we have the Droid 4. It’s like a 4 inch RAZR with a sliding QWERTY keyboard and 4.6mm thicker. It’s what the Droid 3 should have been. Like how the heavily delayed and redesigned Bionic is a fat RAZR. The Bionic is like the RAZR MAXX, but with a worse battery. Pricing is currently unannounced but it’ll probably be $249.

All of these phones are Verizon exclusives in the USA and have ‘4G’ LTE, the same internals as each other, splash-resistant nanocoating and Motoblur as a skin. If you are in America and feel the need for Android, forget these and get a Galaxy Nexus. Or get a Windows Phone on AT&T. Made by Nokia.